I like to write little stories or elaborate descriptions for the camera lens bracelets that I make, so here I collect a small handful and re-blog them. They might be stories from childhood, adulthood, philosophical ruminations or just complete bullshit. You never know…
I spent two years living in France and Belgium, immersed in the culture and speaking almost exclusively French. After my initial six-month learning curve, I adapted so well to the language that I started dreaming in French. In fact, I worked so hard on my accent, that when a French person asked me if I was Belgian (after just spending nearly a year there), I was absolutely honored!
When I returned stateside, I went through complete language shock. Macroaphasia, we’ll call it. At first I kept subbing French words and phrases for their English equivalents. Then it morphed into complete language breakdown. I would be trying to say something, knowing that there were words both in French and English to describe it, but not being able to wrap my brain around either. Sometimes I would make up words that sounded right, but were completely wrong. It was painful, but I managed to work through it. And honestly, I could have had worse problems! It still happens on occasion, but mostly I’m settled back into English nicely (after six years).
If you’ve never heard of MC Solaar, French rapper extraordinaire, I highly recommend you sample some of his songs. I fell in love with his style while living in France and Belgium. I’m not the biggest fan of rap or hip-hop, but what I like about MC Solaar and a lot of other French rappers is that their content is more political and philosophical than that of their American counterparts. Not so much bitches and hoes as institutional problems and reconciliations between cultures. Throw in a little true African flair and some jazz roots (those French sure do love their jazz), and you’ve got a winning combination. Sorry Missy, sorry Jay-Z, sorry Eminem. It’s time to class it up a bit.
Like most middle-class children in the 80s, our elementary school had a lab of Commodore 64 and Apple IIe computers. A couple times a week we would have a chance to play Oregon Trail, Number Crunchers and many more rudimentary games. But my favorite, by far, was Apple Logo, a drawing program using the Logo programming language, in which a small, hollow triangle called a “turtle” would be directed around the monochromatic screen with a series of line commands.
I loved drawing with the little program, and there was a book of command series that would draw different pictures from a geometric shapes to a whale. Sometimes it would just show you the finished picture and you would have to figure out how to recreate it. Either way, it was a good brain exercise. Something called body-syntonic reasoning, I’ve now learned.